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Abstract Detail

MSA - Systematics/Evolution

Stajich, Jason E. [1], Taylor, John W. [2].

Connecting ultrastructure to molecules: Studying evolution of molecular components of cellular division in fungi from comparative genomics.

The evolution of fungi and animals from a single-celled flagellated ancestor to multi-cellular forms involved many changes in the cell wall, nuclear division, and signaling pathways. The early branching Chytridiomycota fungi share several characteristics with animals including a flagellated life stage and centrioles for microtuble attachments. We have used comparisons of the genome sequences of animals, Chytrid, Mucormycotina, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota fungi to seek insight into when these pathways changed. We identified core conserved genes and those specific to the Dikaryka (Basidiomycota, Ascomycota) fungi. The spindle-pole body, site of microtuble attachment is only found in Dikarya fungi  and its formation likely occurred with loss of the genes involved in flagella and centriole formation. We have also reconstructed the evolution of genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis and maintenance that are present exclusively in Dikarya fungi, indicating substantial change in the cell wall composition. By comparing the changes in components that underlie the basis for morphological change in fungi we can begin to understand aspects of the molecular basis of the major transition from aquatic to terrestrial and single-celled to multi-cellular forms.

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Related Links:
Fungal genomes resources

1 - University of California, Riverside, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, 900 University Ave, Riverside, CA, 92521, United States
2 - University of California, Berkeley, Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall MC 3102, Berkeley, California, 94720-3102, USA

Comparative genomics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 37
Location: Cottonwood A/Snowbird Center
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 37003
Abstract ID:792